Boatwif Blog

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The Ribble Link

“Be at the lock for about 9.30.” That was the instruction given by Roger, the relief lock keeper, on Thursday evening. Six boats were booked through on what is called the Ribble Link, that’s the maximum number on any one day.  The crews of Tentatrice and Cleddau had obviously planned to travel together. What would the weather be like – an important consideration to prepare for when going out on open water. The strong easterly winds seemed to have decreased...

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Not without trials and tribulations…

A life afloat will never be without its trials and tribulations. Over the years (over the decades, actually) there have been engine emergencies, electrical issues, water discovered in wrong places, failures of domestic equipment and so on. The boating community, thankfully, is always very supportive of others in trouble. On countless occasions the child’s fishing net kept on the front deck has been deployed to scoop up footballs, dogs’ balls – and once, in 2016, to retrieve a pair of...

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Seen and heard around Liverpool 3

Salthouse Dock, Liverpool to Burscough: 25 miles, 6 locks, 3 Liverpool Link tunnels, 10 swing bridges So much to see, so much to do… During the week moored in Salthouse Dock there were new places visited and others revisited. Many of the museums in the city are operated under the umbrella of National Museums Liverpool.   In these museums the staff wear distinctive turquoise blue shirts which makes them easy to spot; in every location the staff were brimming full...

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Third time lucky…?

It was nearly seven years ago when a very particular cruise saga started. Techno Son-in-Law announced that a birthday present for two would be dispatch on a Cruise – a cruise along the Manchester Ship Canal… Arrangements were made, tickets were booked – but, if you read here, you’ll see that due to most unusual circumstances the cruise ended up in a very expensive taxi ride… A boat trip to within sight of Runcorn and a clamber over a wall...

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Looking on the bright side

Liverpool – upbeat, lively, self-mocking, positive:  that’s the impression gained of Liverpool three years ago – it’s an impression that has not changed. There is much to see – the skyline, the varying shapes and styles of buildings, the UNESCO waterfront, sculptures, museums and art galleries. Yet often it is the incidental remark or chance sighting that sticks in the memory. On the first day as floating residents in Salthouse Dock the Captain and Boatwif made their way (again) to...

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Destination Liverpool

Lydiate to Salthouse Dock: 14½ miles, 6 locks, 7 movable bridges and 1 tunnel Only a couple of weeks ago Cheshire Mum and Cheshire One had driven from Macclesfield to Liverpool. Their journey had taken about an hour and a quarter.  Cleddau’s journey started about three hours north of Macclesfield – and took something like 62 hours to complete. The last stretch of this 129 mile long cruise was to involve some physical effort, a continuing attention to timing and...

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B words: the Bridgewater to THAT bridge…

Dunham Massey to Lydiate: 47 miles, 8 locks, 7 movable bridges B words (not swear words, just B-beginning words): Bridgewater, Burscough, bridge, baked beans, baby, birthday… To back track: eventually, a day later than planned, Cleddau had reached Dunham Massey, and in lieu of the planned “day off” a couple of hours was spent at the Dunham Massey Estate. It was Sunday, it was dry – and it felt a slightly dangerous place, the grounds packed with families and bikes,...

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Testing Conditions

Middlewich (Trent & Mersey) –  Dunham Massey (Bridgewater Canal): 30¼ miles, 2 locks Any readers of the previous post who got to the end may (or may not!) be awaiting report of a Monkton Moment*.  From the overnight mooring just back from the children’s park in Middlewich Cleddau cruised the few hundred yards / metres to Big Lock. This lock is well-named as it is wide enough for two narrow boats side by side or for a wide beam boat… A...

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Downhill

Red Bull Aqueduct (Kidsgrove) to Middlewich:  14 miles, 34 locks Cleddau and crew left the Macclesfield Canal on Tuesday morning to start their descent down the Trent and Mersey Canal to the Cheshire Plain.  In 7 miles between Hardings Wood Junction and Wheelock  there are 26 locks. Many of them are paired single locks. One lock down and the canal flows underneath the Red Bull / Poole Aqueduct, on which Cleddau had been moored the previous evening. Though several of...

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Southbound, on a north west heading

Victoria Pit, Higher Poynton – Red Bull Aqueduct: 23 miles, 13 locks Home for three nights. Mail checked. Admin attended to. Grass cut. Light weight clothes selected… Then it was back to the boat to start the 2019 cruise. The easterly blasts had gone and warm summery temperatures had arrived. There was earnest discussion abut the coal, whether to retain it on board in case of back to winter temperatures or to offload it so as to give more space...